Can you take AA for too long?

I will soon be 92 (DV) and have been taking Fossamax (monosdium alendronate trihydrate) since early 1990s. Is it bad to be on Alendronates too long? I ask this question now because yesterday BBC R4 Science Review programme was about new advanced scanning technology revealing micro-cracks and moleclar breakdown in bones of Alendronate users, which are not revealed in convention DEXA bone density scans. Their concern is about the structural strength and integrity of the old bone that accumulates in enhanced proportion due to the action of alendronate.

I believe the research is credible (team of12 researchers from 8 countries working together) and is ongoing. They are not prescribing any action at this stage other caution. Obviously this makes me all the more anxious to have my question answered about how long to take Alendronate.

6 Replies

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  • My husband is now on a BioPhosphenate 'holiday'. He was told that he shouldn't take it for more than a 5 year period. How long he stays off them for is as yet unknown.

  • Hello and thanks for your question. It might be worth giving our specialist nurse team a call (it's a free number 0808 800 0035) to talk about this.

  • Hi WaryMary

    I thought one should take a holiday from AA after 3 - 5 years. Unfortunately my mum was on AA for years and it was never suggested to her to do this. Our generation appear to be guinea pigs until more research is done regarding the medications we are prescribed.

    I chose not to take AA.

    As has been suggested call the helpline and speak with one of the nurses.

  • Yes call the helpline. But it may help your decision whether or not to continue to know that apparently bisphosphonates are LESS effective in those over 80 than in younger patients. The effects of previous bisphosphonate medication remain indefinitely. At this point you may well do better by making sure your nutrition and supplements are top notch for bone building elements and vitamins, and you get what weightbearing exercise you can - even a little extra walking will help if this is possible.

  • I was told by my Rheumatologist that he thinks two years of Fosavance is quite enough and have a yogurt drink a day and walk.

  • Hi Susuki,

    Does your rheumatologist mean that after two years there is no need to ever have AA again? He makes OP sound so easy to turn around! ;)

    Did he mention anything about getting Vit D levels tested and taking Vit D daily?

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